As has been the case for the better part of 15 years, it’s a great time to be a sports fan in New England. The Red Sox are starting to look like one of the best teams in MLB. The Celtics got their main target in free agency as they landed Gordon Hayward. And when the Patriots start training camp later this month, they will be favored to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
What about the Bruins though?
NHL free agency began on July 1 and we’ve heard barely a peep from their end of Causeway Street as the B’s have only made a few transactions (none of which will make you want to buy season tickets for 2017-18).
The Bruins mercifully bought out the final two years of forward Jimmy Hayes’ contract, ending a miserable tenure. Boston also made three moves that would only register on the most hardcore fan’s radar: they signed forward Kenny Agostino to a one-year, one-way contract worth $875,000, defenseman Paul Postma agreed to a one-year, one-way deal worth $725,000 and finally, they inked Providence Bruin forward Jordan Szwarz to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level.
Thus far, Boston has only lost two players from its NHL roster in 2016-17 to free agency: defenseman Joe Morrow (who they didn’t give a qualifying offer to) signed a one-year deal with Montreal, while veteran center Dominic Moore agreed to a one-year deal with Toronto.
Neither one is a huge loss since Morrow could only crack the lineup in the postseason when the defense suffered a catastrophic amount of injuries. Moore had a quietly effective lone year with the Bruins on the fourth line but the team understandably chose the younger Noel Acciari (signed to a 2-year deal with an average annual value of $725,000 earlier in the week) over him. Morrow is destined to be the answer to a trivia question since he was the last player left with the organization from the ill-fated Tyler Seguin trade.
Development Camp for the Bruins runs from July 6 through July 89 (all sessions are free and open to the public) at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton. Some of Boston’s top young prospects that are set to take the ice include forwards Anders Bjork, Zach Senyshyn and Jack Studnicka along with defensemen Victor Berglund, Ryan Lindgren and Jakob Zboril will be there as well as goaltenders Jeremy Swayman and Dan Vladar.
Some big names are still available in free agency so don’t be surprised if the Bruins sign an accomplished forward such as Jaromir Jagr, Thomas Vanek, Jarome Iginla or Shane Doan. Defensemen Andrei Markov, Johnny Oduya and Mark Streit are also still looking for jobs and Boston could certainly use the veteran stability and leadership that they would all surely bring.